Ambushed by Decaf Coffee

I am a junkie. A hopelessly addicted junkie.

A few weeks ago, I was finding myself utterly exhausted at the end of the day. So exhausted, in fact, that I would get home from work and just sit numbly on the couch wondering if I’d die of malnutrition for eating Count Chocula for dinner 5 nights in a row. By Friday of that week, I had a blinding headache that just would not go away, no matter what I threw at it. Ibuprofen, Tylenol, water, food – that headache would not die.

Before I went to bed that Friday night, I set up my coffeemaker’s timer to brew a pot that would be ready when I woke up in the morning. (This is, I think, possibly the best invention since pay-at-the-pump gas pumps. I wake up, and coffee is waiting for me. It’s like magic!) I still had my headache, and since I had bought the coffee just the weekend before, I wondered if I maybe I had bought a light roast instead of my normal high-octane, road tar, hot lava java I always brew.

So I checked the bag to make sure. But I hadn’t bought some weak roast – I had bought DECAF. I think I literally gasped out loud, standing there before the open freezer, holding the bag away from my face like it was a poisonous snake. Decaf! My favorite t-shirt in college had a black-and-white drawing of a very wired-looking person, hair flying everywhere, clutching a mug and yelling “Death before decaf!” I think that says it all about my coffee preferences.

And yet I had accidentally bought evil decaf and had been drinking it all week. No wonder I had such fatigue and headaches – my body was cut off from its life source, its mother’s milk, its precious fuel. I was practically poisoning myself! I was drinking the dreaded decaf.

Sure, I could have taken this discovery as a sign that I should try to wean myself off caffeine, or perhaps just cut back. Any sane person would. Not me. The next morning, I drove to the local coffee shop and bought 2 of the largest cups of coffee they had, to go. I figure the barista thought the second cup was for a husband/lover/roommate/friend. Nope.

In the time it took me to drive 3 minutes back to my apartment, I had already finished one of the cups and started on the second.

Yep. I’m a junkie, all right.

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